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Hamilton has ‘no cares’ about winning title in Mexico

Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton after qualifying

Lewis Hamilton (right) will line up on the grid behind Sebastian Vettel (centre) and Max Verstappen (left)

Lewis Hamilton says he does not care whether he wins the Formula 1 title at Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver, who qualified third with Ferrari title rival Sebastian Vettel on pole, needs only to finish fifth to win the championship even if the German wins the race.

“It doesn’t feel great that people keep talking about it because I have three races to do the job,” said Hamilton.

“I really have no cares if we win it here or at the next race.”

The Briton added: “What I care about is going out there and trying to win.”

Hamilton, 32, said upon arriving in Mexico that he wants to clinch his fourth world title by winning the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City.

But his job has been made harder by his lack of pace in qualifying – exactly as the team had predicted before the weekend.

Hamilton was nearly half a second off Vettel, who beat Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by just 0.086 seconds, and said he could not have beaten the pair even if he had done his best lap on his final run.

Predict who will finish in the top three at the Mexican Grand Prix

“It definitely wasn’t the best of sessions,” he said. “Sebastian did a great job. The Red Bull and Ferrari were way out of our league today but even if I had finished the lap, which was a really good lap, I would have been 0.2secs.

“We just didn’t have it today. Can’t win them all. but the race is a long day so I’m hoping I can make up some ground.

“I am confident of our race pace but this is not a good track in terms of being able to follow. You need 1.3secs [advantage per lap] to overtake, so as soon as you get up behind someone you’re done. As soon as the start is done, it is going to be about bringing it home.”

Vettel, whose pole was the 50th of his career, needs to win the race with Hamilton sixth or lower or be second with Hamilton lower than ninth to take the championship fight to the next race in Brazil in two weeks’ time.

He said: “I hope for a clean race, the car felt good and if we can carry that into tomorrow then why not? We need a good start and then we can do it. We start on the good side so it should be good.

“We would like to be here in a different position but we attack the race and try to win. That’s all we can do. For the rest, it is not in our hands so it is better to focus on what we can do.”

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